06 Nov - 13 Nov

BridLit 2016

For those who read books and love literature

The 12th Bridport Literary Festival welcomes all those who read books and love literature.

Last year’s Festival was bigger and better than ever before and we were delighted to welcome audiences of all tastes and all ages from all over the county as well as visitors from much further afield. This year we have a stellar list of writers of both fiction and non-fiction and our programme of events will again, we hope, banish the gloomy days of November and help us all to look forward with optimism to the Christmas season and New Year.

You’ll find details of events at Bridport Electric Palace on this page. For the full programme, visit BridLit’s website.

Advance Booking
Bridport Tourist Information Centre
The Town Hall
South Street
01308 424901

Bridport Literary Festival Booking Form


Mr. Gandy’s Grand Tour: Alan Titchmarsh – In conversation with René Wyndham


Wednesday 9 November
Time: 6.30pm
Tickets: £10 

Without question Alan Titchmarsh is one of Britain’s National Treasures and is known to millions through his career as a television presenter and gardening expert as well as the host of The Alan Titchmarsh Show and his new ITV games show: Masterpiece. He has written more than 40 books on gardening and is the author of 8 bestselling novels and three volumes of memoir. The hero of Alan’s new book, Timothy Gandy, has aspired for 40 years to abandon his humdrum existence and to embark on a Grand Tour of Europe in the footsteps of eighteenth century aristocrats. When the opportunity suddenly arises, he is propelled into a series of adventures that he could never have foreseen and which amount to a voyage of self-discovery as well as the wonders of humankind found in unexpected places.

Land Rover: Ben Fogle – In conversation with Boris Starling


Friday 11 November
Time: 11am
Tickets: £10


It is said that for more than half the world’s population, the first car they ever saw was a Land Rover! It mirrors many of our national traits – stiff upper-lipped and slightly eccentric. Ben Fogle, writer and adventurer, is as quintessentially British as his utilitarian car and his best beloved Labrador companions. He has travelled the length of the British Isles spending time with the Royal Marines, the Dartmoor search-and-rescue teams and consummate explorers such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes to find out what makes this iconic vehicle a beacon of durability.

Resolution: A.N. Wilson – In conversation with Sally Laverack


Friday 11 November
Time: 2.30 pm
Tickets: £10

Sponsored by: Jim Bartos and Trish Reed

A.N. Wilson’s powerful new novel explores the life and times of one of the greatest British explorers, Captain Cook, and the golden age of Britain’s period of expansion and exploration. Witness to Cook’s brilliance and wisdom, the protagonist is George Forrester who travelled with Cook as botanist on board the HMS Resolution and penned a famous account of the journey. Forrester’s own story is every bit as extraordinary as Cook’s and Wilson weaves a tale of a remarkable cast of characters to look at human endeavour, ingenuity and valour.

The Romanovs 1613 – 1918: Simon Sebag Montefiore – In conversation with Jason Goodwin


Friday 11 November
Time: 6.30pm
Tickets: £12

Sponsored by: Tim Clarke, Nicky and Adam Fenwick

Prizewinning historian, Simon Sebag Montefiore, tells the intimate story of twenty Tsars and Tsarinas whose lives were touched by genius and madness, inspired by holy autocracy, tainted by remorseless killing and sexual decadence. This family chronicle reveals a secret world of unlimited power, ruthless empire-building and palace conspiracy, with a global cast of tyrants, poets and adventuresses – from Ivan the Terrible to Lenin, Tolstoy to Lincoln, and Katherine the Great to Queen Victoria. The Romanovs is a story of triumph and tragedy – a portrait of an empire that still defines Russia today.

Game of Spies, the Secret Agent, the Traitor and the Nazi Bordeaux: Paddy Ashdown


Saturday 12 November
Time: 11 am
Tickets: £10

Sponsored by: Helen and Andrew Carless, Tess Silkstone and Harold Carter

After service as a Royal Marine and as an intelligence officer for the UK security services, Paddy Ashdown is supremely well placed to tell a riveting three-way spy story set in occupied France. Three Men: one British, one French and one German were caught up in an atmosphere of collaboration, betrayal and assassination in which comrades sold fellow comrades. It is a story of the SOE, of treachery and heroism in a city once labelled ‘la plus collaboratrice’ in the whole of France.

Being a Beast: Charles Foster – The Kenneth Allsop Memorial Talk


Saturday 12 November
Time: 2.30pm
Tickets: £12

Sponsored by: Sue and John Bradbury

Charles Foster, writer, barrister, veterinarian, traveller and Fellow of the University of Oxford, wanted to know what it was like to be a beast: a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, a swift. What it was really like. And through knowing what is was like he wanted to get down and grapple with the beast in us all.

A passionate naturalist, Foster set about living life as a badger for six weeks, sleeping in a dirt hole and eating earthworms, facing shrimps at close quarters as he lived like an otter and raiding bins for food as he lived like an urban fox.

It also provided a literary challenge. Looking at what science can tell us about what happens in a fox’s or badger’s brain when it picks up a scent, he uses this information to imagine their world for us and to write it through their eyes, or rather through the eyes of Charles, the beast.

Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Common Ground, the West Dorset environmental-arts charity.

Kenneth Allsop was a broadcaster, writer and champion of conservation who lived near Bridport until his death in 1973.

A Life in Questions: Jeremy Paxman – In conversation with Susannah Simons


Saturday 12 November
Time: 6.30pm
Tickets: £10

Sponsored by: Carol Hammick and Adam Tindall, Sue and David Orr

Undoubtedly one of the nation’s most accomplished and incisive political commentators and programme presenters of his generation, Jeremy Paxman’s memoirs are a literary highlight this year. His recollections of reporting in war zones, the role of journalism in our political system and his observations on the state of the BBC and his years as anchorman of their flagship Newsnight are candid, witty and self-deprecating. An often impatient and acerbic host of University Challenge, Paxman is also the author of nine best-selling books covering everything from military history to the role of monarchy. He is also the recipient of many awards and honours including five Royal Television Society Awards. His love of fly fishing, his loyalty to Leeds United and his eclectic taste in art together with his wicked sense of humour are both entertaining and revealing. A conversation with Jeremy Paxman is a treat in store.


06 Nov - 13 Nov


11:00, 14:30, 17:30


Some info